Saturday, July 31, 2004

     I left my house to go to the shopping center to return a video. A huge Chevy truck was in front of me as we drove down a neighborhood street. I didn't see the squirrel, but I saw its rolling, trashing body as the truck crushed it.
     I stopped my car and watched. I could see it trying to drag itself off the road, trying to get back to a tree, back to somewhere safe where it wasn't in pain.
     I got out, stood for a moment. I could hear it squealing. I walked closer. Its lower body was flattened and bloody. One leg was hanging on by a tatter of skin. The other was lying a few feet away. It should have already been dead, but some cruel quirk kept it alive, kept it trying to get away.
     I got back in my car, took a deep breath, turned my wheel, drove forward and ended its pain.
     Sometimes that's the only mercy you can give.

Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.

4 comments:

Joel said...

Wow. May the squirrel have a better time in its next life.

And (this is my opinion only) sending vibes of support for your action. Squirrels are not normally animals people will immediately stop for, pick up, and the vets will do their best to save it. Your actions were merciful in that context.

TECH said...

It left me feeling oddly shaken.
Squirrels are plentiful here. Hundreds around town. I don't know why I gave it a second thought.
I could have driven on. It would have died in a few more minutes. I just didn't think it should live in pain for those few more minutes.
A friend of mine read this entry and IMed me, saying that it read like an implied argument for euthanasia ... I've got to get some other friends. :)

Gloria Williams said...

I am so glad to see you writing again in this blog. I have missed you! The photos are simply wonderful. I enjoyed several of the poems and excerpts, but many of them are dark and depressing. I hope things are getting better for you.

Although this entry does seem support for mercy killing, I think there is a world of difference between humans and animals. Any careful reading of the Bible shows that mercy killing is either murder or suicide, both of which are sins.

I think you did the right thing. Most people would have just went on.

Anonymous said...

Author, I agree with the ppl who posted before me, I believe you did the right thing, I just don't think I would have had the courage to do it. I feel that God puts us in certain situations for a reason. It reminds of something that happened to me a few years ago, I was driving down the street and the car in front of me slowed down and swerved a little. When they went on I noticed they had ran over a kitten. It was still alive, but thrashing about on the street. It was too busy for me to pull over right there, so I turned onto a small side street with the intentions of running back to the kitten and getting it out of the street, I was praying that I could get to it before another car came by. As I got out of my car to go over, I noticed the same car that had swerved before had made the block and was trying to run over the kitten again. This time they accomplished what they were trying to do before. At first I couldn't believe what I was seeing, but the car was full of teenagers and they were all laughing like it was a game to run over the kitten. I was outraged, I wanted to shake them. They happened to pull into a drive way next to where I was parked and got out, I started to go over and find out what was going on, but my husband grabbed my arm and told me to get in the car, we were in a bad part of town, after dark and it was not wise to confront ppl like that. I wondered what kind of pleasure they got out of tormenting a small helpless creature. I know this is completely opposite of what happened to you, but I just needed to get it off my chest. Sorry, susan2